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Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Named one of the greatest minds of the 20th century by Time, Tim Berners-Lee is responsible for one of that century's most important advancements: the world wide web.  Now, this low-profile genius - who never personally profited from his invention - offers a compelling portrait of his invention.  He reveals the Web's origins and the creation of the now ubiquitous http and ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 7th 2000 by Harper Business (first published 1999)
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Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Weaving the Web touched on the philosophical underpinnings of the Web which I loved. Highlighted is the fact the Internet exists to allow the free exchange of idea throughout humanity. Any organization that limits or throttles the content we consume or produce is against the very spirit of the Internet.

The history of the web as explained by Tim is as real and personal as it gets. It outshines the dry factual notes I got as a Computer Science undergraduate. To understand the professional struggl
Richard Seltzer
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In retrospect, the growth of the Web seems almost inevitable, arising from characteristics of how the mind works and how people can interact with one another's ideas. In that sense, the story of its creation reminds me a bit of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. In Vonnegut's novel, an illogical belief (Bokononism) is so in synch with the human mind that it spreads from person to person, like a force of nature.

Tim Berners-Lee tells his story in the first person, as autobiography, because the story of
Ruby Rue
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Here I am, reading a book about web which was written in nearly 20 years ago, but still is as touching and interesting as it can be. It was an amazing experience to read about the creation of the web and the struggles Tim Berners-Lee had when trying to make his idea come true. I am from the web-generation, we are the people who were born after the web and grew up with it. We observed web becoming more powerful, yet we also can see what's going on now and how the initial idea of sharing the knowl ...more
CT Ray
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
First third was interesting as TBL was closely involved in championing and shaping the Internet by introducing the web. Second third of the book was less interesting as he related his time spent on the W3C organization. Last third was a bit dull as he speculated on the future of the web. The book lost steam by the end.
Martyn Smith
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s hard to imagine anyone today sitting down to use the internet and then comparing that experience to attendance at a Unitarian Universalist church, yet Tim Berners-Lee began to attend this liberal and open-minded church and saw in it a physical manifestation of the platform he had designed. At the conclusion of his history of the World Wide Web (or what we commonly call the internet), he notes that some people had even asked if he designed the Web based on the principles of the UU church. No ...more
Roberto Rigolin F Lopes
We are in 1999, Berners-Lee goes about telling an honest account on how the www started. Sharing the hurdles to get funding at CERN and to convince people to use the system; phone book was the killer application. His colleagues even made jokes about the "world wide web" name and he had to move to MIT to start the W3C. Heck, is pretty damn hard change the world. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: computer-science
In this book, Tim Berners-Lee describes the history of the World Wide Web, sprinkled with a lot of his more philosophical ideas about the destiny of the Web. It starts off quite slow with him stuck at CERN, which is a creative environment where he is more or less free to work on his pet project, but nobody is really backing his ideas or seeing their true potential. It is quite frustrating to read about how hard it was to get his project off the ground (or the "bobsled" going, as Tim himself phra ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
Design. Destiny. Big words for something that is there in part because of random happenings.

The web is a bad design. It is not particularly good at anything, yet apparently it can be adapted to many things. Yet Netflix or YouTube have nothing to do with Berners-Lee as much as his inflated ego would want you to believe. These are sites that developed using the available tools. And the free Internet Explorer, as much blamed, has much more with the Web of today than this petty bureaucrat and his ve
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sir TimBL changed our world profoundly by inventing the World Wide Web. He is a humanitarian. He foresaw the good and the bad his technology would bring and worked hard to stave off the worse elements. I can only thank him for my career and the gifts he bestowed upon humanity. It is now in our hands to make sure it does more good than harm.

This is a must read book, especially if you do any work in technology.
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
The World Wide Web, equal parts a great equalizer and great divider. I learned a lot about the history of how it came to be and was impressed with how much thought went into how to have it be open and free with considerations of privacy, accessibility, security, censorship, etc. All of those topics are so relevant even twenty years after this book was written, especially net neutrality. This incredibly nerdy book was also incredibly interesting!
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The father of the Web has written about the next step in the evolution of the Internet. He remembers the past with some fun stories and then talks about the future, but the problem with visionaries is that they sound like lunatics until the future is actually here and everybody's using it. I respect Tim and he is probably right, but in these cases it's much easier to SHOW, not tell. ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I was surprised at how readable this was, and then surprised at how the author ties his belief in the Web to Unitarian Universalist beliefs. His arguments for a semantic web that will, in some ways, supplant and assist the role of human intuition seems to articulate the way information technology has actually been used to control us, unfortunately
Jawwad Zafar
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book blew my mind specially the first third part of the book. How Tim didn't give up and believing in his work continue to push it despite all the challenges he faced. In today's time the last part of the book would feel outdated but it was good to know the creator of web's speculation for the future of the web which in today's time is a reality, most of it. ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Very interesting for a look into the history of the the web's creation and its spread. The latter chapters haven't aged well. Overly optimistic (where is the semantic web these days?) and a little sad when looking at how the web has influenced society through social media. ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Engaging and insightful book that provides a fundamental explanation of how the web works as well as a behind the scenes look into the values and philosophy of the man who designed the initial technology behind it.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
an ok memoir but damn tim you have some bad ideas.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in accessible, not-overly-technical prose, this is an interesting look at the history of the Web and Berners-Lee's predictions and hopes for its future (back in 1999). ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full of interesting back stories and design decisions for the Web, recommended!
loved it
Nolan Egly
Nov 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, recounts the history of how the Web was initially inspired, championed as a worthwhile project while working at the international research facility CERN, slowly grown in and outside of CERN, and eventually became governed by a new consortium (the W3C) still in effect today. The book is not a technical manual, and is meant to be an account readable by laypeople.

Tim starts by describing his need to link disparate types of information together
Daniel Wheeler
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Millions of people use the internet everyday but most of them don't know the history of it or how it works. Weaving the Web, written by Tim Berner's Lee, was written at the height of the Dot Com boom in 1999. It is a first hand account of how the World Wide web was born.

The book is about the journey that Tim Berner's Lee took to create the world wide web today as we know it. Tim worked at CERN( European Organization for Nuclear Research) which is a large hadron collider in France. The research
Naomi Penfold
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
An insight into the hopes and aspirations for what the World Wide Web could be, from its creator. It was interesting to hear the serendipitous beginnings of the web, a tale that further supports the call to fund blue sky research, or at least to not impose the need for application on an inventor's activities too early in the process. There were several points throughout the book when TBL's thoughts are very relevant to today's political situation: we have in our hands a tool that could allow our ...more
Michael Connolly
This is an autobiographical book by the creator of the World Wide Web. He gives plenty of credit to the other people involved.
Tim Berners-Lee graduated in 1976 from Oxford University with a degree in Physics. In 1980 he moved to CERN, a huge experimental physics laboratory in Geneva. His basic idea was to combine hypertext (intra-document cross-references) with the Internet (inter-machine connections) to create the World Wide Web. He worked on his ideas for several years and his software underw
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Last night I completed “Weaving The Web” by Tim Berners-Lee (1999©). Now, in case you’ve been living under a rock, TB-L is the man who invented the World Wide Web. He also invented web servers and web browsers. He came up with the ideas and then worked it out with a colleague (Robert Cailliau) and a student intern (Nicola Pellow). This book is the story of what they did and how they did it. It is a story of insight, foresight and individual effort to turn an idea into a grass-roots movement, int ...more
Katie Daniels
After trying to talk myself out of buying yet another book when so many needed to be read, I finally broke down and bought "Weaving the Web." I picked it up out of the mailbox at about 5 PM last night, and I finished it today. Clearly I needed it every bit as much as I thought I did.

"Weaving the Web" is the gripping story of how the World Wide Web came into existence. It was invented, and we know who the inventor is. This is his story of his goals, what inspired him to start writing the softwar
Writer Lev Grossman has chosen to discuss Tim Berners-Lee’s Weaving the Web: The Past, Present and Future of the World Wide Web by its Inventor on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject- The World Wide Web, saying that:

"...This book is extremely engaging and readable. It’s very similar in some ways to Francis Crick’sThe Double Helix, and he really just talks about where his invention came from, how it happened, and what everything you read about the history of the Internet tells
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
The first part is a history of what motivated him to develop the web, how he did it, why it beat the other hypertext systems, and the early browser wars. The second part was his vision for the web and his ideas about how it could change society. This is a 15 year old book so it's interesting that some things are developing along the lines he expected, but in a slightly different way. And others, not so much. The Semantic Web never really happened like he described, I've never even heard of RDF. ...more
Brad Acker
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Tim Berners-Lee provides a first-hand account of how the Web interface into the Internet was developed at CERN. I enjoy reading such first-hand accounts because you often learn about the personal motivations and wonder about the "butterfly effect" and Malcom Gladwell's observation that "little things make a big difference." (If Tim had not had mathematicians for parents who programmed the first commercial computer would he have found himself in a "butterfly-like" position to revolutionize the In ...more
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting. I was already in the workplace when computers arrived on the scene so I remember much of what Berners-Lee writes about. He is the person who envisioned and developed the World Wild Web. We have him to thank for being able to write reviews on Goodreads. His vision of the web as a place to collaborate is now upon us, but he is modest. He also tones down the tech-speak so non-techies like me can easily understand. This understated book tells of the beginnings of something most of ...more
Tommy /|\
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Berners-Lee writes a very fun and informative treatise on his experiences towards creating the Web as we utilize it today. The first nine chapters detail his background and history, up to his move to the United States. A lot of the material describing the internal workings of the CERN environment were absolutely compelling material. The rest of the book follows his work within the W3C, along with his long-range vision of the Web. While the book holds a time-frame of 1999/2000 - much of his obser ...more
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Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA, DFBCS (born 8 June 1955), also known as "TimBL", is a British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989, and he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet ...more

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